Pacific Vortex Book Review

Pacific Vortex Book Review

Title: Pacific Vortex
Author: Clive Cussler
Published: 1982, Bantam Books
No. of Pages: 266
Cover Price: $9.99 US

Although Clive Cussler’s sixth Dirk Pitt novel, Pacific Vortex is considered the first in the Dirk Pitt Series, he published five others prior to it. Dirk Pitt is certainly different from your typical thriller hero; he is Special Projects Director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), and an expert on underwater affairs. While on vacation in Hawaii, Pitt finds a communications capsule from the Starbuck, a submarine that disappeared on its maiden voyage six months before. The capsule contained log pages and clues to the disappearance. Pitt turns the capsule in to the Navy, but ends up being assigned the task as a liaison between Admiral Leigh Hunter of the 101st Salvage Fleet who is in charge of finding the Starbuck, and the officers of the Navy Department who don’t get on particularly well with Hunter.

The Navy supplies Pitt with information on several ships that have disappeared over the years in the same area, named the Pacific Vortex by the Navy, and there has been no evidence of wreckage found for any of them. Since Pitt is a hero, and his skills are extraordinary, he and a diving team find the Starbuck, as well as the other missing ships. Everything seems to be in perfect working condition, at least on the Starbuck, and Pitt must solve the mystery of the disappearances.

Working underwater is not only thrilling, but frightening and unfamiliar to most readers. So when Pitt is working underwater, there is a palpable level of suspense that carries on throughout the entire novel. There are some minor characters killed, and Pitt experiences several attempts on his life, both on land and under water, while working on the mystery. To make matters worse, Hunter’s promiscuous daughter, Adrian (who formerly shared Pitt’s bed) is kidnapped, and it is suspected that her kidnapping is connected to the case of the missing ships.

Cussler’s writing style is good enough that readers will almost experience the underwater danger vicariously. The fact that Cussler is a marine archeologist and has knowledge in that area, makes it possible for readers to actually learn a few facts, even though the story is fiction. Pacific Vortex is definitely a edge-of-your-seat novel, and those who enjoy high adventure will enjoy this and Cussler’s subsequent books.

For some reason, many best-selling male authors create heroes that are incredibly handsome, incredibly skilled, incredibly attractive to the ladies who are always willing to sleep with them, and in incredibly good shape so as to get out of every scrape and predicament presented. This is the case with hero Dirk Pitt. Why is that? Can’t an average-looking, slightly overweight couch potato emerge as a hero in a suspense/thriller novel? Since this is fiction, and most likely includes scenarios from the author’s innermost fantasies, this novel will be especially enjoyed by those readers who are able to live those fantasies while imagining they are Dirk Pitt. Those who are turned off by male arrogance will probably want to skip this and the rest of the novels in the series.

This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: Pacific Vortex!: A Novel

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